News - Old Commrades Do

Don't just listen to what we say about 'just for groups!', read what a branch of the Royal Corps Signals Association feel about us! Feedback is important, it re-assures you that you have chosen the right team to work with.......

Every year our branch of the Royal Corps of Signals Association organises a weekend away for its members. It is always very much enjoyed by those who choose to go. This year the branch decided that Great Yarmouth might be worth having a look at, so it was that on April 8th forty three members gathered at the arranged meeting place and boarded our luxury coach and headed off. There was much chatter and excitement, with an underlying feeling of apprehension, as this was the first time we had used ‘just for groups!’ Would they be as good? What would the hotel be like? Wonder what the entertainment would be, and what about the food?

We arrived in Great Yarmouth at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, having made our lunch stop at Saffron Waldron, and were met at the Nelson by the hotel manager. Our ‘just for groups!’ tour manager then escorted the group to the bar for an introductory talk, while the staff unloaded the baggage and deposited our cases outside the rooms. During the general chat after the introductions it was mentioned, in answer to a question, that the main purpose of the Association Branches was to raise money for the Regimental Benevolent Fund which supports families of soldiers of the Corps who are killed during active service abroad in places that have become all too familiar in recent years, like the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan; and before we knew it ‘just for groups!’ had very generously donated an inclusive weekend away for two at one of any of the eleven hotels, owned by their sister company Grand UK Hotels, currently situated nationwide, for a raffle, to support our Benevolent Fund. The resulting raffle for this prize netted the branch charitable fund £120 with the embarrassed General John (Branch President) being the holder of the winning ticket, which was eventually drawn on Sunday evening.

Meals were taken in a very well appointed dining room, and many comments followed the presentation of a very extensive menu, not only for dinner but at breakfast too. The choices were amazing and all the meals were served by delightful young men and women, who made it their sole purpose to ensure that our every whim was catered for. It was the general consensus that a rousing round of applause for their efforts be afforded the chef and his team which was received with great humility.

Saturday after breakfast the party left for a little tour of Norfolk. The coach dropped passengers off in the heart of the City and everyone went off to see a particular attraction of their choice. Having taken lunch at various places in town the party preceded to Wroxham, where the good ship Wroxham Queen stood by to take us on a trip down river to the Broads. A very enjoyable trip with commentary from the knowledgeable skipper made it all the more interesting.

Sunday saw a delayed start to the day, all the excitement was beginning to tell, but nonetheless the intrepid travellers made their way to Cromer to enjoy a morning there, some watching the exercises being carried out by the lifeboat crew out at sea, while others visited the church and opted for the famous Cromer crab sandwich. Following that we departed for Sheringham, where again the party split into the steam train enthusiasts and those who went on to the military museum and the Muckleburg Collection a few miles up the road.

Entertainment was provided on Saturday and Sunday evening after dinner in the form of self accompanying singers, who judged the mood and temperament of the awaiting audience with a precision that is only gained after years of entertaining, and it wasn’t long before the assembled throng got up to enjoy a dance or two. Between the music the comedy routines kept all amused, dare I say, to the point of raucous uncontrollable laughter. All in all a thoroughly good time was had by all.

On the journey home a pleasantly exhausted group reflected on the weekend, delighting in the Norfolk experience, and vowing in many cases to make a private return visit. Overall the comments were that it was a thoroughly good weekend and great value for money, which pleased the committee no end.

So what about next year? The brochure is already in our possession and plans are being made. I’m afraid you haven’t seen the last of us ‘just for groups!’ as you well and truly exceeded our expectations!

John (Royal Signals Association)